Determined to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 2, Zero hunger, which is central to the attainment of the other 16 goals by 2030, the Lagos State Government is keying into the United Nations efforts to address the challenges facing food systems and security.
Ahead of the United Nations Food Systems Summit billed for September this year, the state government, in collaboration with the Federal Government, on Tuesday hosted delegates to an event tagged: “Implementation of Exploratory Dialogue of the United Nations Food Systems Summit in the South-West Geopolitical Zone.”
Speaking at the event, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said that his administration had completed a five-year agricultural master plan which would raise the capacity of the state in agricultural production, as well as create a marketing platform for export of local agro-allied products and improve food security.
Delegates from Ogun and Ondo States attended the event.
Sanwo-olu, who was represented by the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Sam Egube, also revealed that Lagos State had almost completed the 52-tons-per-hour rice mill at Imota in Ikorodu, to ensure food security in the state and across the nation.
He said: “In Lagos, we are putting in optimum efforts to ensure we support the agricultural sector and promote a sustainable food system. We are pleased to note that we have completed our five-year agric master plan, which would be raising our capacity to be a key player in agricultural production, while also creating a marketing platform for export of local agro-allied products and improving food security.
“In a bid to also ensure we maximize the opportunities inherent in the agric sector, we have also put in place the Lagos Aquatic Centre of Excellence (LACE), which is a fish processing centre capable of stimulating our fish capacity production from 20 per cent to over 60 per cent.”
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Olushola Idowu, explained that the aim of the zonal exploratory dialogue was to allow states identify and explore different options towards solving the national food systems and encourage a collective approach towards building a sustainable food system.
Idowu said: “The Nigeria National Food System Dialogue will eventually enable the government to develop a plan of action to improve nutrition, food security, to reduce hunger and prevalence of nutrition in line with the national food as well as nutrition policy for Nigeria.
“It is envisioned to create more inclusive, healthier food systems and encourage collaborative approach towards building a sustainable food system.”
Also, the Lagos Commissioner for Agriculture, Bisola Olusanya, said the south-western states need to come together to incorporate policies that would enhance agricultural processes in the region, while also creating an enabling market for farm produce in adequate quantities at the right time and right places.
Olusanya said: “We need to begin to come together and integrate our policies in such a way that we will become a force as well. We need to come together now to say this is how we want to plan the food system within this region.”
Also present at the event were the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello; his counterpart for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Bolaji Dada, who joined virtually; and Ogun State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Olaolu Olabimtan.
Others were Permanent Secretary, Lagos Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Abiola Liadi; her counterparts in the Ministry of Agriculture, Hakeem Olaniyi; Ministry of the Environment, Aderonke Odeneye; Office of Sustainable Development Goals, Bose George; Ondo State Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, Sunday Akintomigbe, among other stakeholders.